By KBB.com Editors
One year after a brush with near-bankruptcy and with a hefty styling infusion care of Italian car maker Fiat, Dodge has once again avoided being swept into the junkyard of history. One of the most deserving recipients of Dodge's design rebirth is the Dodge Avenger mid-sized sedan, a car that had once been roundly criticized for its dull interiors, mediocre drivetrain and low resale value. But, the 2011 Dodge Avenger is a totally different animal, with an aggressive new exterior, a stunningly modern interior and one of the best drivetrain and suspension setups in its class. If ever there was a case of turning a sow's ear into a silk purse, the 2011 Dodge Avenger is it.
If you're brain says "Charger" but your wallet says "used car," the 2011 Dodge Avenger may be your knight in shining armor. Its bold styling, great handling and affordable price will satisfy both your enthusiast and economical sides.
If you're looking for subtle but upscale styling, cutting-edge refinement and best-in-class resale value, you might be happier with the VW Jetta or Hyundai Sonata.
The 2011 Dodge Avenger receives a complete makeover, with new front and rear styling, new wheels, a completely new interior, new suspension and steering and an available 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine.
Driving Impressions The 2011 Dodge Avenger is a truly great driver's car. A thorough reworking of the car's suspension, brakes and steering systems has netted a mid-size sedan that...– if it wasn't for the big Dodge ram head staring up from the steering wheel's center – you would swear was built by VW or Nissan. Dodge has managed to blend a soft comfortable ride with a responsive chassis that can carve up twisting mountain roads as easily as it floats over long freeway stretches. The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 puts the muscle behind the 2011 Dodge Avenger's moves, delivering impressive power, silky-smooth operation and pretty decent fuel economy. Connecting wheels to engine is Dodge's new six-speed AutoStick automatic transmission. While it's fun to shift your own gears, the AutoStick is not as quick or precise as some newer dual-clutch transmissions. But, as the automatic does an excellent job of finding and holding the correct gear, we don't think you'll miss the manual-shift feature in the long run.
Uconnect Infotainment System
This optional hard drive-based system includes navigation with real-time traffic information, MP3/WMA music and JPEG image uploading via a high-speed USB port, auxiliary audio input, voice recognition, voice message recording and playback, Bluetooth hands-free cell-phone connectivity and more.
3.6-liter Pentastar V6
Quite possibly one of the best V6 engines every produced, the new Pentastar V6 pulls like a V8, purrs like a Lexus and returns impressive fuel economy.
The most noticeable change attributed to the 2011 Dodge Avenger is its interior. Gone are the primer-gray tones and hard plastic surfaces, replaced by a more organic dash design, soft-touch materials on the armrests, console and dash and a new color pallet that includes rich ebony, warm sand and even a two-tone red-on-black theme. Dodge has used extensive sound deadening materials to help quiet the Avenger's cabin while simultaneously giving it some very loud audio options, including a six-speaker Boston Acoustics upgrade and a navigation radio with a 30-gigabyte hard drive capable of storing up to 4,250 songs.Exterior
Although its profile is still familiar, the 2011 Dodge Avenger is a far better looking car than the model it replaces. A new front crosshair grille and aggressive lower air intake are complimented by projector-beam fog lamps and honeycomb-textured grille inserts. Around back, the Avenger receives a new rear valence and larger tail lamps with a "ring of fire" LED light pattern. The Avenger's overall fit and finish are also noticeably improved, with better fitting plastic pieces, tighter tolerances between body panels and much more lustrous paint choices. Rounding out the 2011 Dodge Avenger's new look is a set of aggressive wheel choices: 17-inch on Express and Mainstreet trims and 18-inch alloy on LUX and Heat models.
A 2011 Dodge Avenger Express features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary input jack, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, height-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar support, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, 17-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers, 60/40 rear seat with pass-through and folding armrest and a security alarm. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic traction and stability control and front, front-seat side-mounted and side-curtain airbags.
The highlight of the 2011 Dodge Avenger's optional equipment list is the comprehensive Uconnect navigation, entertainment and communication system. Other standouts include a 6.5-inch touch screen CD/DVD/MP3/HDD radio with 30-gigabyte hard drive, Voice Command and USB interface, Sirius Satellite Radio, Boston Acoustics speaker package, Bluetooth cell phone connectivity with streaming audio, eight-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control, auto on/off headlamps, heated front seats, leather seats, remote start, 18-inch wheels and a power moonroof.
The Avenger's base 2.4-liter "world gas engine" has been given numerous upgrades to help it perform better and with less noise, vibration and harshness. Producing 173 horsepower, the 2.4-liter is not the most powerful in its class, but at least it can now keep up with the pack leaders. The real star of the Avenger line up is the all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which produces an impressive 283 horsepower yet returns highway fuel economy figures around 30 mpg. The 3.6-liter engine is also E85-compatible.
2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
166 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 (4-speed auto), 20/31 (6-speed auto)
283 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 (gas), 14/21 (E85)
By BJ on Sunday, February 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I really enjoyed my avenger when I had it. It was reliable, great gas mileage and good looking. The down side to these cars are that they just don't retain any kind of value. There is no trade in value at all with these vehicles. I paid almost $20,000 for the car 6 years ago and now it is worth 5000.00. You do the math."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By BO on Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Bought mine brand new a year and half a go and have 45,000 miles on it. All I've had to do so far is change the oil and put gas in it. 4 cylinder engine performs well and still gets very good gas mileage. Interior is comfortable and the Uconnect system is very easy to use. The only drawbacks I've found are that it has a horrible blind spot and the steering wheel is uncomfortable on really long trips and has a fair amount of road noise on the highway. I've been very happy with mine over all."
By floridapoolbum on Monday, February 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "It's a beautiful car and runs like a dream."
Cons: "I wish it would get better mileage."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The only problems that I have had with this car is the CD player sometimes freezes and won't restart until I restart the car and one time it totally shut itself off! Luckily, it restarted itself."
By Jay on Friday, February 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value, mpg's, trunk space, leg room."
Cons: "Chrome trim reflects into eyes sometimes"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had my 2010 Dodge Avenger R/T for almost 4 years now and I have not had one single thing go wrong! Nothing! This car has truly been the best new car that I have ever owned! It's fast, handles well and good MPG for a HO 6 cylinder. I might be an exception, but I gave it all 10's!"
By Avenger Mom on Friday, February 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,600overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Love the sporty look outside and roominess inside"
Cons: "20 mpg ok but not great"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love the avenger. I have found that there is not a lot of storage inside the car. Once you get used to that it is a great car to drive. There are blind spots from the back window to the trunk but as with any car you have to get used to it. There are no bells and whistles but to find a car that looks sporty in this price range I think it is perfect. I would recommend purchasing some Hockey Stick graphics for a more sporty look. I plan to keep this car 8 to 10 years."
By R/T Girl on Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I own the R/T edition of this car and I have mixed feelings about it only because I wanted an SUV to begin with but I really liked the sporty car look. So I bought it. Pros: Great acceleration (ONLY IN THE R/T STYLE) Timeless look Cons: Not very comfortable seat. Mesh interior makes it hard to clean in cloth. Small trunk space"